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Politics & Policy

Watch: San Francisco mayor talks reparations for Black residents

Mayor London Breed answers questions from the Board of Supervisors about the reparations on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. | Justin Katigbak for The Standard

At a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed answered questions about the city’s closely watched reparations proposal for Black residents.

Asked by Supervisor Shamann Walton whether she was committed to reparations, Breed first acknowledged members of the city’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee for their work in the face of “outlandish behavior” in response to its proposal, which made national headlines.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed addresses the Board of Supervisors in response to Supervisor Shamann Walton's question about her support of the reparations proposal on April 18, 2023.

“I know the committee is still working over the next couple of months to complete and issue the final report, and I look forward to reviewing those recommendations once they are finalized and make it clear in regards to my support at that time,” she said.

The reparations committee issued a lengthy report earlier this year detailing historical injustices against Black residents and made more than 100 recommendations for forms of restitution. Some of its more ambitious proposals, namely $5 million cash payouts to eligible individuals, sparked media backlash and criticism from the NAACP and other activist groups.

Breed didn’t discuss any specific recommendations, but pointed to her 2021 Dream Keeper Initiative as a source of effective investments in the city’s Black community. She said that the initiative had helped to steer funds to organizations training entrepreneurs, making small business grants, providing child care assistance and other means of support.

“We are facing serious challenges with our budget,” Breed said, alluding to San Francisco’s estimated $780 million two-year deficit. “However, I know that these kinds of investments are making a tremendous impact in our city.”

Asked by Walton whether she would support a $50 million budget appropriation to create an Office of Reparations, Breed said she had no plans to do so.